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How Much Time Does Your Photographer Need On The Wedding Timeline?

wedding timeline bride with twinkle lights in background

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How much time does your photographer need on your wedding timeline?  Figuring out your wedding timeline is hard! You want to make sure everything goes smoothly but also that you have enough time to get the photographs you want.

I often have brides and grooms ask me how much time I need to photograph.  This usually happens on the initial call to figure out which wedding package to purchase, or when we are figuring out the timeline for the wedding day.  This usually happens about 3 months before your wedding.  

I have created a guideline of the minimum amount of time I need for each section of a wedding.  I’d always love more time, but these are the minimum.

Please keep in mind that family portraits will change the amount of time you need.  It will depend upon how many groupings you’ll have.  Also please note:  Brides should be tucked away a least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony so she isn’t seen:

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  • 60 mins: bride getting ready and details
  • 30 mins: bride with each bridesmaid and as a group
  • 30 mins: groom getting ready and each groomsman and as a group
  • 15-30 mins: First look and bride and groom pics
  • 60 minutes: bride and groom (may be split between first look and after ceremony and sunset pics)
  • 30 minutes: family (beyond the list below, it’s 3 min per grouping)
    • bride and groom and both immediate family’s (w/grandparents)
    • bride and groom and groom parents
    • bride and groom and grooms immediate family
    • bride and groom and grooms grandparents
    • bride and groom and brides parents
    • bride and groom and brides immediate family
    • bride and groom and brides grandparents
  • 30 mins: Wedding party pics (can be done before ceremony with first look)
  • 30 mins: To photograph ceremony before guests and reception before guests
  • 5 mins: Per Table for table visits
  • 20 mins: Toasts (can be done during dinner)
  • 15 mins: First Dance, Dad Daughter, & Mother Son
  • 15 mins: Cake pictures and cutting
  • 15 Mins: Sparkler Exit
  • 15 mins: bouquet toss / garter toss

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